Becoming Light Blue

becoming light blue

Having a special place to be creative isn’t a luxury – its a necessity.

It doesn’t have to be a ‘studio’ either – it can be a space at the dining room table or even in a large closet – because all you really need is a place to go to remove yourself from the every day.  The space only has to allow you the freedom to be in a creative state without distraction.

There’s something special about a cozy, hidden nook anyway – remember forts and clubhouses and tree houses?  That’s where we spent a good bit of time as kids – why wouldn’t it work for us still today?

This photograph was taken in one of my special places – a hidden area of the yard where misfit items go (like the land of misfit toys or as I like to call it, “Wonderland”).

There are old doors and windows and broken pots and gazing balls and broken statues and other oddities there.  There are two very large (fake) mushrooms and an over-sized, plastic wind spinner (polka dot, of course) and two ridiculously large, yellow metal butterflies on springs that bounce in the breeze – and all are ‘artfully’ displayed as if it mattered – no one can see it but me.

SO, IT DOES MATTER.  It matters a lot.

Wonderland wasn’t intentional, at first.  It just sort of ‘happened’.  But whenever I pass through the (pretend) gate, which is just past the fairy tree (in case you were wondering) …I am a little bit transformed.

Wonderland is where I go to become Light Blue.

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Blue Cowgirl Dreams

shot while on location…

hmmm…wonder where that might be??

Infrared photograph of a store window reflection – street scene in a historic downtown – somewhere.

Hope you’re having a great Memorial Weekend too!

Colorful Colorado

Some places are so colorful you can capture them in black and white and still get the point across!

This was a ‘jump out of the car and grab the shot quickly’ photo (as it was windy and quite chilly!) taken alongside the Big Thompson River in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.  I captured it with my converted camera (so its actually infrared) but you get the idea.

I only had to wait a short time before the fisherman wandered into the lower area of the frame I wanted him in…thankfully!

He was in just the right spot and so was the setting sun!

Awareness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An overheard fragment of a conversation,

words from a song on the radio,

a certain stanza of a poem read aloud,

the way a shadow dances across a wall.

Daydreams,

dreams while sleeping,

juxtapositions from nature,

unnatural sources.

It is never planned;

and there is no warning of its approach.

But when it does arrive,

Pay attention to it.

Like a clue on a treasure hunt;

or the needle on a compass;

it is the answer to a question not yet asked.

Simply

remain

open.

Sense the importance.

Trust the gift enough.

And save it for another time.

This is what inspiration is like for me.

 

Infrared photograph of the trees in my forest.

Breaking the Rules one Photograph at a Time

I used to be in a camera club a few years back.  I would go to these meetings religiously because it was about the only way I could connect with other photographers.  We would always have a competition at each meeting and the winning photographs would continue on to the next level (regionals) and sometimes to the state and national levels.

To the members of this club the rules were carved in stone and it was mandatory for each new member to understand them clearly if they ever planned on having their photographs included in the winner’s circle.

All the winning photographs always looked the same too – …beautiful sunsets with orange and blue skies, pretty flowers in pretty vases on pretty tables, still life arrangements with fruit, etc., etc., etc.  And each one sharp as a tack with textbook exposure.

I’ll never forget the time one of the (senior) members was looking at one of my photographs (one that I was pretty happy with as I’d just gotten back from two  weeks at The Maine Photographic Workshops (now known as Maine Media) in Rockport, ME, and said, “Now see, if you’d only used a tripod here – you’d really have something!”.  I just smiled and shook my head in agreement and thanked him for the advice, knowing that at that very moment my camera club days were numbered.  Not because I thought I was a better photographer or because I thought I knew more than these people – it wasn’t that at all.  I just knew, at that very moment,  that if I continued to stick around i ran the risk of letting their limited thoughts and ideas on what ‘real’ photography was influence my ideas of what I thought ‘creative’ photography was.

And I haven’t looked back.

I learned a lot about the foundation of photography from these generous and friendly folks and appreciate what they shared but I also learned it was just the jumping off point.  Creativity can’t be boxed in like that.  It ceases to be creativity!

I enjoy making images using the Lensbaby, toy cameras, plastic cameras, pinhole cameras, I love SX70 film and Polaroid cameras, I hate hauling around my tripod, I love to shoot through the window or a dirty windshield, will shoot while jumping up and down, I like an occasional blown out highlight, I love really high key images, I’m a self portrait freak, I take more photographs of my feet than you’d ever believe, (I take pictures of other people’s feet!), I shoot at odd angles, no angles, wide angles, in the dark, in the bright light, in infrared, a LOT in infrared, use wacky filters, shoot from moving vehicles, use the wrong exposure intentionally… and I do all these things on purpose!

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘every photograph is a self portrait’.  It just means that the images we make reflect something of who we are and how we see the world because we put something of ourselves into the image.  It’s what makes that image our image and no one else’s.

I can spend hours browsing through images I’ve taken – it truly is an enjoyable past time for me.  These photographs aren’t necessarily great or award-winning but they hold some magic sometimes.

I guess its kind of like keeping a diary; a visual diary – full of memories and emotions that couldn’t be put into words if I tried.

 

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For the Love of (light) Blue

Cyanotype photography refers to the process of printing a picture by using sunlight and a series of chemicals. The chemicals involved in cyanotype photography include Prussian blue, aqueous potassium ferricyanide and aqueous ferric ammonium citrate. When producing a cyanotype picture, the paper (or other printing medium) is treated with each of the chemicals.

The image is then placed upon treated paper, weighed down with glass and taken out into the sun. The combination of sunlight and chemicals will then imprint the image onto the paper in a dark blue or gray color. Keep the paper in the sun for five to fifteen minutes, or until the paper is visible bluish-grey.

Cyanotype

When the paper has turned, remove the glass and rinse the chemicals off the paper. After the paper is dry, the print is complete.

Objects used in cyanotype photography should be flat and opaque. When using the cyanotype method, remember that the prints turn out best with greater contrast. Also, wear gloves, as the chemicals stain.

Cyanotype is not only cost effective, but it also serves as an effective alternative to a darkroom. In fact, the most expensive aspect of this method is the cost of paper. Those beginning to dabble in photography should begin experimenting with cyanotype to learn the mechanics of printing photographs.

(from www.photography.com)

I LOVE cyanotypes!  Of course it probably has something to do with the fact that they are blue…but still, I LOVE THEM.  I always have.

I’ve dabbled in the cyanotype process some and really enjoy it.  Its just sometimes difficult to do when the outdoor lighting conditions (sunlight) aren’t just right.  Its one of those things you need to set a specific time for and I tend to be of the more spontaneous nature (I never seem to get the timing right), i.e. I miss out on making cyanotypes a lot!  😦

BUT, I have this great book I love to flip through occasionally (to get my fix) and one day I was looking at it and decided to photograph some of the photographs using my infrared camera.

I love how they turned out…

Hope you do as well!